Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Rempis Percussion Quartet - The Dissapointment of Parsley (Not Two, 2009)

This is a very exciting modern jazz group consisting of Dave Rempis on alto and tenor saxophones, Anton Hatwich on bass, Tim Daisy on drums and percussion and Frank Rosaly on drums and percussion. They play wide open free jazz with snippets of melody. This isn't just balls to the wall free jazz though, the music is thoughtfully played and the concept of interaction between all of the musicians is key to the success of the music, particularly here in a spontaneous setting as the music was recorded live in Krakow, Poland on April 6, 2008. "The Disappointment of Parsley" opens the disc with an uptempo improvisation that is very appealing. Rempis plays tenor saxophone here, and this was my favorite piece of the three, a dynamic free-bop collective improvisation with a headlong visceral rush of music like shooting the rapids of a canyon. The dual percussion and bass make for an almost hypnotic underpinning for Rempis to improvise over. The second performance, "Zoni ," is a slower and moving performance dedicated to the leader's recently deceased grandmother. The music is quieter and reverential, slowing the pace but keeping the edgy feel. The medley of Julius Hemphill's "C" and the original "Sold at Ten Percent Discount" is an epic performance that ends the album. The music ebbs and flows in a suite like manner form faster more frenetic sections to abstract artistic portions like the tides weaving in and out from the sore of a distant beach. This was exciting and spontaneous music that I enjoyed quite a bit, the group plays very well together and improvises at a very high level. Music like this and the exciting music being performed by the likes of Billy Harper, Charles Tolliver and Ken Vandermark are among my favorite modern jazz, music that is respectful of the traditions of the music of the past but yet seeking ways to bring that excitement and joy into the future.
The Disappointment of Parsley - amazon.com (mp3 version)

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